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Mr Lewis Brennen 

Postgraduate Research Student

Mr Lewis Brennen's photo

Mr Lewis Brennen is a Postgraduate Research Student within the Department of History at the University of Southampton.

I completed both my BA and MA in History at the University of Southampton and am now continuing there as a Postgraduate Researcher. My interests lie in the social, cultural, and political history of early modern Europe and, more particularly, in the history of witchcraft. My undergraduate dissertation charted the development of ideas about the witch’s familiar spirit in early modern England, while my MA thesis focused on the connections between witchcraft and prophecy. My doctoral research is centred on the intersections between witchcraft and politics in Elizabethan and Jacobean England.

Research interests

I am currently researching the intersections between witchcraft and politics in early modern England. Clear connections between the occult, on the one hand, and politics on the other, have always been present in western societies. From the earliest times to the present, the social and political elites of society have always had a vested interest in the occult, in the way in which it is defined in relation to the rest of society, and in the way in which it threatened or supported their power. This was particularly true in early modern England.

I am interested in how alleged acts of witchcraft, and ideas about witchcraft, could both be used against the governing elites and their agendas, but also how such things were used by those same elites to defend and further their political agendas.

PhD research

‘Witchcraft and Politics in Elizabethan and Jacobean England’. Supervised by Professor Mark Stoyle and Dr Julie Gammon. Partially funded by a University of Southampton Vice Chancellor’s Award.

I am currently Secretary of the Arts and Humanities Graduate School Student Network (‘GradNet’). I have previously co-edited the 2017 edition of GradNet’s annual journal, Emergence.

I have previously taught on HIST1151 ‘World Histories: Contact, Conflict and Culture from Ancient to Modern’.

Mr Lewis Brennen
Student Office, Building 65, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Southampton, Avenue Campus, Southampton. SO17 1BF United Kingdom

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